Apr. 17—WATERTOWN — Plans to open the newly acquired golf course at Thompson Park got a major boost Monday night when the City Council finalized a deal for Spokes to run the facility's clubhouse.
In a unanimous vote, council members approved a one-year agreement with the owner of Spokes Craft Beer and Tapas, the popular restaurant on Public Square, to serve food and beverages in the Thompson Park Golf Course's clubhouse.
Spokes owner Jamie Danielson said that Spokes is just about ready to run the Thompson Park Golf Course clubhouse.
"This is the next big step," she said about council's action on Monday night. "We just want to get in there and make it over."
According to the agreement, Spokes will pay $1 to run the clubhouse this season. Spokes was the only bidder.
Council members Sarah V. Compo Pierce, Lisa A. Ruggiero and Cliff G. Olney III said they are glad that Spokes is taking on the venture.
"Spokes has earned a reputation in the community," Councilwoman Compo Pierce said.
The city still has a May 1 target date to open the Thompson Park Golf Course it purchased in January.
Golfers should learn in the next week about signing up to play at the golf course in the city's historic park.
The city still has some major electrical repairs to complete before the clubhouse can be used. The electric system in the basement must be replaced. A quote came back indicating that the work will cost more than $35,000.
The city is seeking proposals for the electric work, with a deadline of April 27.
Ms. Danielson is creating a new company for the clubhouse venture and is calling it Spokes on the Green.
She's planning a soft opening in May.
The owner is working on obtaining a temporary liquor license from the state.
Spokes made two staff hires on Monday, Ms. Danielson said.
Under the agreement, Spokes will have the right to request a one-year extension with the fee structure to be agreed upon before Jan. 1, with the minimum base of $5,000, according to the agreement.
The city would have the right to determine additional fees, including to collect payments for special events.
For several months, the purchase of the Watertown Golf Club for $3.4 million from developer Michael E. Lundy became a political hot potato, mainly over the price tage.
At the same time it's preparing to get ready for the golf course, Spokes is also opening a new restaurant in Clayton.